Published: Wed, March 06, 2019
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Controversial World League to be discussed in Dublin

Controversial World League to be discussed in Dublin

The warning sounded by members of the IRPC coincides with a World Rugby announcement that it has "underscored its continued player welfare commitment" with the appointment of Dr Éanna Falvey as its deputy chief medical officer.

"Going from playing three or four games a year, which we all know is an issue for these countries, to playing in something like the Rugby Championship and then touring the northern hemisphere for four to five weeks requires a player depth that a lot of countries struggle with", said Tew.

Sexton, the world player of the year, described the plans as "out of touch" while Farrell said the "proposal shows no signs of improving an already hard situation" regarding the strain on player welfare.

England captain Owen Farrell and Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton are among the game's biggest names to have warned of serious player welfare and integrity concerns over World Rugby's proposed new competition structure.

"The proposal presented to us at the moment doesn't seem to have considered this properly".

"World Rugby recognises and values the importance of player considerations and input into the annual global competition discussions", it said.

Much of the ire surrounded talk that the new tournament would have no promotion-relegation system, with fears that the Pacific Island nations, in particular, would be left out in the cold.

Messi has not played for his country since the tournament in Russian Federation, and although he is expected to bring an end to his global hiatus on Thursday, Tagliafico concedes Argentina have never worked out how to get the best from him.

What are World Rugby's plans?

Beaumont's move comes amid media reports that player welfare could be compromised by an increased program of internationals in a planned global league and that smaller rugby nations, like Georgia and Pacific island teams, could be marginalised.

It is being reported that the U.S. and Japan would join the Rugby Championship quartet of Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and face England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales - the Six Nations teams - in a league that will play out in non-World Cup years.

But undoubtedly the World League would build a wider gulf than ever between tier one and tier two countries.

On Thursday, World Rugby sought to distance itself from the idea the World League would not include promotion and relegation.

Worldwide rugby is braced for the biggest change in modern history with plans to create a World League that will see Japan and the United States of America join the Rugby Championship set to be signed off as early as next month.

Former Argentina captain Agustin Pichot has been vocal in his support for tier two nations since being elected World Rugby vice chair in 2016 but Leo does not believe his words have been matched by actions.

Indeed Gosper, who has been in his post since July 2012, said the Test workload for players could be less than is the case now.

In an attempt to pour cold water on the deal - which looked set to be ratified in the coming weeks - the International Rugby Players (IRP) Council have found their voice.

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